Stellar Corpses – Vampire Kiss/Jonestown
by Mat Weir
It’s always a breath of fresh air to write about local, underground music. After all, that’s the main reason for me working at an independent record store and as a freelance journalist. However, it’s a gift to write about a bunch of guys who you know personally and have roadied for.
If you haven’t heard “Vampire Kiss” yet, here’s a little breakdown. It was the first single off the Stellar Corpses latest album, Dead Stars Drive-In, and their first vinyl 7-inch release in their 10-year career. In true Corpses’ style, it’s a 3.5 minute horror punk number based on the cult flick The Lost Boys, which (of course) was filmed in Santa Cruz. The song features guest vocals by Jade and Hunter of AFI, and the latter even has a cameo in the video (which, unfortunately, had to be filmed at the Santa Monica Pier due to an off-season at our Boardwalk).
With eerie guitar riffs, bass-slappin’ rhythm, a solid drum line and mournfully catchy vocals, it’s easy to see why the band would choose this as the first single. However, it’s the B-side that really kills the competition.
“Jonestown” is a full-on assault of the ears, bordering on the side of thrash metal at parts. Inspired by the 1978 Jonestown Massacre in which 918 people either committed suicide or were killed by the followers of self-appointed guru, Jim Jones. With a chorus of “In Jonestown/drinks are always free” and actual audio of Jim Jones’ broadcasts spliced into the song, it becomes a hauntingly macabre number that always leaves chills down my spine.
While the first pressing of this 7-inch was on blood red vinyl and came with a bunch of cool goodies (I still have my coffin box full of stickers & patches, safely stored away like any neurotic collector), it’s still being pressed on both, black AND red vinyl through our good friends at Chapter 11 Records (more on them to come, soon!). You can purchase a red copy—with a coffin shaped screen-printed poster!—at their website or pick up a black version through your friendly, neighborhood record store…and by that I mean Streetlight.